Monday, September 30, 2013

The Results are in and I.....

The results are in and I made all my goal miles for the National Bike Challenge!!
But I took the long way about it today.
I needed 30.5 miles to get my 1700 miles in.
That's the miles I said I would cycle for the National Bike Challenge.
Yeah, I even put it in my blog that I would ride 1,700 miles for the National Bike Challenge, even though the previous year I barely made 850.
But I did it.
And I thought you might enjoy my recollection of how I got through the last 30.5 miles.
Well, first of all, I was lucky and I had today off from work. I didn't take any teaching work on and I didn't have any clients. I did have a client's training plan to finish, but I did that AFTER my miles. I didn't do any laundry or clean anything at my house. I did feed my animals (3 cats and 1 dog), but I didn't put out any effort to feed anyone else living in my house (16, 21, 49). I figured the living humans could take care of themselves. I made a grocery list, but I didn't shop.
So I got dressed in most comfortable bike shorts.
That would be my Terry Bella Shorts.
Yep, that's them above. And after today it is obvious that I need a new pair because I have outbiked the ones I have.
After putting on my shorts I slathered my "lady" parts with Aquaphor.
Yes, those are finger-gouges in my Aquaphor. But Aquaphor in strategic places gives me a great base for all my bike mileage.
I hooked up my Garmin 910 and the heart rate monitor that goes with it and I prayed. I prayed because I really don't know how to use it yet. I just turn it on and I turn it off....and then all the minutes between my start and stop are calculated, even if I stopped at a red light for 5 or so minutes, or I stopped to take a pee in the orange groves, or I stopped to get a turtle out of the road...
I just keep it on because several times before I have turned it off when I stopped and then I would TOTALLY FORGET to turn it back on until about 5 miles later. That's how long it takes for my brain to remember - 5 miles.
And today I needed every mile to count.
Okay, I know this is sideways and probably too small to read anyway, but it's okay. It's the NEW way to figure out your heart-rate. When I was training for my personal fitness trainer certificate we were taught two ways to figure out your heart rate...and this is NOT one of them.
But I want to be open minded about it.
I keep hearing this is the NEW way, so I figured out my NEW heart rate and....
I'll report in a different blog.
But I was thinking about this today while I rode my bike.
I put my $20 in my Altoids container along with a few mints and stuck it with my nitro in my bento bag.
If you don't know why I have nitro, this is why...
(Prinzmetal angina (also known as variant angina, angina inversa, or coronary vessel spasm) is a syndrome typically consisting of angina (cardiac chest pain) at rest that occurs in cycles. It is caused by vasospasm, a narrowing of the coronary arteries caused by contraction of the smooth muscle tissue in the vessel walls rather than directly by atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty plaque and hardening of the arteries). It occurs more in younger women.[1])
Yes, Thank you Wikipedia....

I hardly ever have an episode, but carry my nitro (just in case)..
Then I grabbed a couple of SunRype bars from my stash and stuck them in back jersey pocket for my nutrition for my 30.5 mile bike ride.
And because I wanted to try the new heart-rate zone (which I am not convinced of) I put on my Keen bike shoes because they are always my LOW-KEY shoes and not my race shoes...
I swear I took a picture of my actual feet in these shoes, but my toenail are so bad right now, my camera on my phone must have rejected the picture.
I decided to ride Sarah, my road bike, today. She is an easy ride and I like cruising on her. I pumped her tires to 110. and checked her Bento Bag to make sure all my "necessities" were in there.
Then I took off.
It was kind of warm and I rode around my neighborhood for about 5 miles. It was around 11:30 a.m and I was getting hungry.
I stopped under this tree by the Victoria Country Club and called my guy.
I was HUNGRY!!!
"Are you still at work?" I asked. It was around 11:30 and I had ridden 5 something miles.
"No. I just left," he said.
Talk, talk, talk, talk....and we agreed to meet at the
 in about an hour...but he would call me when he was close.
So I took off to get some mile in.
Best case scenario - get all my 30.5 miles in and then eat lunch with Robert at the Greet Street Grill and he can take me and Sarah home in his car...or
get a lot of miles in and eat at the GSG and then slowly pedal home for the last of my miles.
Pedal on I did.
Down Victoria Avenue.
Until I hit a detour.
I was detour through Casa Blanca.
This all brought back lots of memories of when I was a kid and my mom would NOT drive through Casa Blanca because she was afraid of being shot.
Even as a teenage driver, I avoided the area because of racial tensions.
Today I rode my bike through the detour area and I never felt scared or threatened.
That's what a change of times or riding on a bike will do for you (me).
One of my favorite parts of today's ride was at the intersection of Adams and Lincoln. I was stopped at the intersection in front of a fire truck, so I pulled myself way into the crosswalk to get out of its way in case they needed to turn right.
All of a sudden I hear, "Well, hello there."
The CHP officer on Adams is talking to me.
I wave.
"Ah, you would be way safer if you were behind the white line...just like regular cars are...." the CHP officer droned on from his car way over on the other side of the road.
I turned and looked at the BIG fire truck behind me and shrugged my shoulders. Really, my bike wheel was about 1 1/2 feet over the crosswalk line. And I thought I was in the safest place for me. I could see everybody and everybody could see me. But I guess the CHP guy needed to be in control.
So I slowly backed my bike up until my rear tire was almost touching the bumper of the fire truck.
When I turned my head to look back I couldn't even see the driver of the fire truck anymore.
I prayed that he would remember I was there in case he got a call before the light turned green.
Light turned green and I was pedaling thinking I really wanted to get off a street with a lot of traffic and onto a less traveled route.
I picked Cleveland Avenue. But it is not very bike friendly. Look where I am. And ohoh, there is no place to push a button to go across. I had to sit there and wait four about...I don't know how long, but I drank a good bit of my bike bottle before someone pulled up behind me and then the light turned.
Then I continued on road such as this (no cars and lots of orange trees) until Robert called me and said he would be at the Greek place in a few minutes.
I hightailed it there and when I got there I was at 21 miles.
I chained my bike to the railing in front with my helmet strap and we went in and ate.
It was good.
While we were eating I joked that I should write a "ride and review" column for the local newspaper. I could just ride my bike from eatery to eatery, well, eating, and review the food and how easy it was to lock my bike up in front of their local, and their tolerance for my stinky bike clothes.
Then Robert got in his car and DROVE home and I still had to (and mean, got to) ride my bike home for 9 miles.
Once I got home, I did have to go around the block once, but I managed to log my 30.5 mile.
I am happy to report that I did get in my 1,700 miles that I set my  goal as (twice as much as last  year).
Yes, the official NBC  says I have MORE than 1,700, but I am going with my calculations.
A while back I got an email from the Inland Empire Biking Alliance asking me to join their NBC Team (I had been riding as a solo person), but I was happy to jump on their team.



 I think I am ready this right, but it looks as if I am the first women on the IEBA team....and I am happy with that.
But no worries, I promised my husband that I would NOT double my mileage for next year...
And then behind his back I mouthed, "Until I win the lottery and we move to Seal Beach."

National Bike Challenge. Today's the Last Day!

The 2013 National Bike Challenge started May 1.
I said I would log 1,700 miles for this year's challenge.
21 days ago I had logged 1,328 miles.
I still had 372 miles to go.

Today is the last day for the Challenge.

I start today needing 30.5 miles to meet my goal.
I have until midnight tonight to ride them and log them.

Wave when you see me out riding today!



To ready other blogs about my (almost) 1,700 mile National Bike Ride Challenge, you can click on the links below.
And next year you can sign up for the Challenge also.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wasn't Feeling It!

I just wasn't feeling it this morning.
So I stayed home.
I was signed up for the Apple Valley Reverse Sprint Triathlon. It was cheap compared to lots of other events. It would be a good morning workout and I could work on my speed.
But Thursday I could barely make it through my club's bike ride. My head was full of cotton, but the cotton wasn't soaking up the liquid that was coming out of my nose (my bike gloves have since been washed) or running down my throat. I could only breath through my mouth.
Yesterday, I felt a little better and I thought I could suck it up and get through the event.
I sat on my new family room furniture last night and I didn't want to get up to pack my stuff.
But I finally did.
I set my alarm and went to bed at 9 p.m.
When the alarm clock went off this morning, my body went AUGGGGHHHHH!
and my mind said, "Why are you getting up so flipping early to drive an hour to do a sprint, and then drive an hour back home when you don't feel the best?"
I don't know.
My mind did some math.
I hit the snooze button and went back to bed for a couple of hours.
I'll still be doing a sprint today.....and part of an Olympic Distance...just not in Apple Valley.
I'll be right here in Riverside.
 And since I am not spending time driving, I'll have more time to train.
It won't be quite the same.
No event shirt.
I probably have enough event shirts anyway.
No event medal.
I already have enough finisher medals to make a dozen wind chimes.
Since sick training clients and children have been sharing their "ill" germs with me, training, not eventing, is the BEST I can do today.

Monday, September 23, 2013

San Diego TriRock - NOT What I had Planned!

All I can say is WOW!
That is NOT what I had planned.
TriRock San Diego - You may look pretty on the outside, but on the inside you were UGLY!!!!
This was my third year to compete at the TriRock San Diego Triathlon.
I blogged about my last experiences and my goals for this year in my last blog.
I'm just going to lay it out and  tell you that I did not come in the top 5. I came in the bottom 5 of my age group.
And really I am not even sure where I came in at because the swim portion of the triathlon was a total SCREW!!!!
The water looked calm at 6:15 when they kicked us out of transition.
Wave starts were suppose to start at 6:30, but they didn't.
The announcer kept saying something about waiting for the tide to come in.
This picture is of San Diego where the triathlon took place, way back next to the tall buildings in the bay, which you can't see in this picture. See the two dark towers to the left? Keep those in mind because I'll be mentioning them in a while.
Waiting for the tide to come in?
Didn't someone check the high and low tides in the  Farmers' Almanac several months ago when planning this tri?
So about 625 people stood around in their wetsuits waiting for the tide to come in.
Standing at a railing watching the tide come in is about as productive as watching water boil.
Okay, that's boring.
The only interesting thing about standing around waiting was listening to the other triathlete's talk.
Lots of people were anxious (yes, anxious, not eager) to get in the water because they needed to pee.
They all were zipped up in their wetsuits holding it for way longer than they ever expected.
The waiting was torture.
Finally, they had the National Anthem, but it was a recording, and it did not include the words...just the music.
Wait! Isn't this TriRock?
TriRock means music.
They couldn't find ANYONE to sing the National Anthem?
I was still questioning this when the first wave went off.
The first two waves went off okay.
Everyone in a wave had to single-file walk down stairs to the water and then swim about 100 meters to the start buoys.
Around wave 3 the starters weren't waiting for everyone to get to the start buoys. Some people were still swimming from the stairs to the start buoys when the horn went off.
After seeing that happen, I was going to make sure I was one of the first ones down the stairs so I was at the start line when the horn went off.

Then I noticed something strange.
It even made me laugh.
It looked as if the people in wave 3 and 4 did not know how to sight. Swimmers in Wave 1 and 2 seemed to do a great job of staying on track, the swimmers in the next two waves must not have been sighting because most of them were WAY off course.
It wasn't until Wave 6, my wave was in the water that I realized it wasn't them.
It was the current.

The TriRock San Diego Athlete's Guide said there would be buoys every 100 meters.

I swam to the first buoy and then the second buoy and made a right turn to the third buoy.
At the third buoy (which read 500), I grabbed the metal ring underneath it to hold on. Otherwise I would have been swept backwards. I looked at my watch and it said 32 minutes.
It had taken me 32 minutes to swim 500.

I laughed out loud for the second time that morning and told myself this was going to be one long swim.

Then I shoved on and swam and swam and swam and swam.

I was using the two dark towers on my right shoulder to sight off of to see how far I had gone. There was a big white building in front of me that I was using to sight to go forward. I was using the big white building because I couldn't really see the buoys because they were so far away and the waves coming at me kept me from seeing them.

I kept to my motto for the day - Head down, swim on.

After 10 minutes of swimming those two towers had not moved. I was swimming in an endless pool.

I had to really dig in and kick.
Right there you know it was desperation time because I have been taught to swim and barely kick so I can save my legs for the bike and run. But there wasn't going to be a bike or run if I didn't kick.

FINALLY, I got to the next buoy.
But a lot of other people were way off course and the buoy was NOT to the right of their shoulder.
I stopped and asked one of the lifeguards if all those other people were disqualified.
He ignored me.

At one point I breast-stroked and asked the lifeguard if the current was always like this, because it wasn't like this last year.
"People just need to suck it up and swim," she said in a stressed voice.

I did.

There were some swim angels in the water, but their people had all been picked up by the lifeguards and taken in.

Again, I put my head down and swam on.
I was just about to the last buoy to make the turn to come back when a lifeguard told me to cut across and head back.
I told him I was almost to the turn buoy and then I would head back.
He told me that someone in charge had decided the current was way too strong and they didn't want to have to rescue a lot of people so they were telling people to cut across the swim the finish.

I was so close to the turn buoy, I just wanted to get there.
I told him that.
Then the lifeguard boat came by.
They said turn and swim to the other side or else.

Or else what?

Then the swim angel said the sprint was going to start soon and they needed the International distance swimmers finished so they could concentrate on the sprint swimmers.

I have to cut my swim short because they don't have enough lifeguards to man the swim portion?

And where is the band?
There was NO band in the water this year.

Under pressure, I cut about 200 meters off of my swim.
End result - it took me 1:00:58 minutes to swim about 1300 meters.

I have swam an half-ironman swim of 1.2 miles faster than that.

A lot of people were getting out of the water and walking dejectedly into transition.
After all, we had all been cut short.
What did that mean?
One lady in transition had her chip taken from her.
But she was going to bike and run on anyway, even though in the rules it says you can't.

Several of us slowly peeled off our wetsuits and questioned what we were suppose to do now. Stop? Continue on?

That's when my big picture of the screw came out again.


I was just going to finish it off from that point on.

My bike was faster this year by .6 miles an hour even though the course this year had LOTS of turns.

My goal for transition 2 was to change from my bike shoes to my running shoes as quick as could be and grab my hat and hydration belt and run out of transition.

I was 22 seconds faster than last year.
(and I did talk to a lady in transition who was still upset about getting her chip taken away from her after the swim...but I talked while I grabbed stuff and then turned and ran).

My run was 3 minutes 31 seconds FASTER this year.

All in all ,I walked away okay.

That's a lie!
I walked away frustrated about the entire triathlon

It was a rip-off that they made me cut out part of my swim.
I went back and looked at the Athlete's Guide and it said that the course cut off time was 9:40 a.m.
By the time my wave went off it was probably about 7:20ish a.m. By the time the lifeguard told me to cut the course (OR ELSE) it was probably about 8:10 a.m.
In the guide it says the sprint swim starts at 8:20 a.m. - I think they were hurrying to get the last wave through so they would have enough lifeguards for the sprint. Plus it would have been a huge mess for people exiting and entering at the same place. I am calling BAD planning.

Transition was okay, but where were the great boxes we had last year? Last year, everyone had their own transition area box with their name on it.
This year it was just a rack after rack of squished in bikes.

The bike course this year was horrible.
It was the worse triathlon bike course I have EVER rode my bike on.
It was touted as a ride along the San Diego coast line, flat and fast with great views of the harbor and a rare change to ride on board 32nd street Naval Base.

I couldn't look up to see any of that which is mentioned above. I was too busy watching the road for turns, manholes,  steam coming out of the road, potholes reflective speedbump moons and water bottles that were lost by those riding over the horrible road.

I am not going to bitch about the run.
It was the same except for a few minor difference.

But I am going to complain about this - there were NO bands.
Not one.
This is Tri ROCK!!!!!
As in Rock-n-Roll!!!!
Which means Bands!!!
You can't have a TriRock without Bands!!!

But they did.

They took my money for TriRock and didn't have one band.
That just makes this triathlon the same as all the other triathlons, only this one has a questionable swim course and a horrible bike course.

I was RIPPED OFF!!!!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

TriRock San Diego 2013 Goals

It's Saturday, Sept. 21, 2014.
6:25 a.m.
This time tomorrow, I will already be out of transition and waiting for my swim wave at the San Diego TriRock International Distance Triathlon.
The first year I signed up for the International Distance, but when I looked at the water, I knew I wasn't ready (not enough experience) to swim .9 miles in the choppy bay, so I switched to the sprint.
TriRock 2011. It took me FOREVER to get my long sleeve wetsuit off. I'll be wearing my sleeveless this year.

The second year,
I was ready for the longer swim and I came in 7th in my age group.
I was lucky and met up with a couple of other Aquaphor team mates last year.

This will be my third year to compete at TriRock.
I was hoping that I could set a goal to go faster on the swim course, or go faster on the bike course, but they are both changed from last year.
The only part of the course that is the same from last year is the run course.
This map is for the sprint distance, but for the run and bike I'll do two loops of each. The swim for the International Distance is different than shown on map.
I looked at the course and made what I think are a couple of realistic goals and one wild goal.
Even though the swim course is in the opposite direction as last year, I think I can still better my swim time. I have become a faster swimmer in the past year. I didn't say I was fast. I just said I was fastER.
My fastER is probably your slow.
My motto for my swim this year is - Head Down, Swim On!
My goal is to beat my swim time from last year by at least one minute.
This year's bike course has LOTS of turns.
Just look at the course map above.
Lots of them.
I didn't set a bike course goal, other than to go as fast as I can and be safe.
I did set transition goals. I know it is lame to just say I want to be faster. Goals need to be specific. Of course, I want to be faster. But to be faster I need to do something different. So my specific goal for transition 2 is change from my bike to run shoes, grab my hat and hydration belt and put them on while I am running out of transition.
I will not be having a bucket or a balloon in my transition area.
That leaves my run.
I haven't been running as many miles lately, but I have been working on higher foot turnover and speed.
Again, since goals are better if they are specific, I set my goal to be 1 minute faster on the run course than I was last year.
For the past couple of years my goal has been to be in the top 10.
Here's my WILD goal for this year's TriRock!
I want to be in the top 5.
I'll let you know how it goes.